Report: Cutler tore MCL vs. Packers

Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his left knee during the Bears’ 21-14 loss to the Packers in the NFC Championship Game, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Cutler, who injured his knee in the second quarter Sunday, was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the extent of the damage, a source told the Sun-Times.

The MCL is among four ligaments that stabilize the knee joint. Depending on how severe the tear, Cutler could need one to six weeks, or longer, to heal, according the the Chicago newspaper.

A Grade 1 tear is considered an incomplete tear and typically involves pain and 1-2 weeks recovery time. A Grade 3 tear is a complete tear, and Cutler could have significant pain and swelling and instability. Surgery might not be necessary, but the knee would require immobilization. Recovery time could take up to six weeks.

Cutler appeared to injure his knee in the second quarter, heading to the locker room ahead of his teammates before halftime. Cutler then played the opening series of the third quarter before taking a seat for the rest of the game.

Backup Todd Collins replaced Cutler before being benched in favor of third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie.

After the game, Cutler’s coach and teammates came to the defense of the quarterback, with coach Lovie Smith growing visibly upset with the repeated inquiries about Cutler’s injury.

"He hurt his knee and he was out, all right?" Smith said. "There’s nothing else for me to tell you on that. I don’t know exactly when it happened, he couldn’t go and that was that."

"Jay was hurt. I don’t question his toughness, he’s tough as hell," Brian Urlacher said. "He’s one of the toughest players on our football team. He doesn’t complain when he gets hit. He goes out there and plays every Sunday, he practices every single day, so no we don’t question his toughness."

Veteran center Olin Kreutz said he was surprised Cutler stayed in the game as long as he did with the injured knee.

"It was shaking right after he took the hit and walked back into the huddle," Kreutz said. "It was swinging. I knew that one of his ligaments probably went."

The Associated Press contributed to this report